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					DOROTHY KNOWLES
TEACHER’S GUIDE

         LAND MARKS
FRONT COVER:
Land Marks installation view, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery
TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION TO THE EDUCATION GUIDE                                        1

INTRODUCTION                                                              3

SASKATCHEWAN’S WATER COLOUR LEGACY                                        5

      LESSON 1: MAKE A RETA COWLEY STYLE WATER COLOUR PAINTING: DAY ONE   7
      LESSON 2: MAKE A RETA COWLEY STYLE WATER COLOUR PAINTING: DAY TWO   9

THE FRENCH CONNECTION                                                     11

      LESSON 3: INSPIRED BY MATISSE AND CHAGALL                           13
      LESSON 4: TORN PAPER COLLAGE                                        15

EMMA LAKE AS AN INFLUENCE ON DOROTHY KNOWLES                              17

      HERMAN CHERRY, ‘KNOW YOUR MATERIAL’                                 19

               LESSON 5: ‘IF THE SHOE FITS’                               21

      CLEMENT GREENBERG, ‘BECOME YOURSELF’                                23

               LESSON 6: LANDSCAPE RESISTS                                25

      KEN NOLAND, THINNED PAINT                                           27

               LESSON 7: PAINTING LIGHT AND COLOUR LANDSCAPES             29
               LESSON 8: WHAT IF? - PAINTING LANDSCAPES INDOORS           31

                                                                          33
CONCLUSION
                                                                          35
CREDITS
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
INTRODUCTION TO THE EDUCATION GUIDE

THIS GUIDE HAS THREE MAIN GOALS. IT INTENDS TO ASSIST TEACHERS:

•   to introduce students to the work of landscape painter Dorothy Knowles
•   to help students understand her work in context –both historically and locally
•   to help students begin to develop their own ideas and personal means of expression

THIS GUIDE IS SET UP IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER LEADING YOU THROUGH THE ARTIST’S LIFE AND
HER DEVELOPMENT AS AN ARTIST. ACTIVITIES ARE PROVIDED THROUGHOUT THE GUIDE GIVING
YOUR STUDENTS ART MAKING, PROBLEM SOLVING AND EXPRESSIVE OPPORTUNITIES.




                                                                                         page 1
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
INTRODUCTION




                                Self Portrait, 1956, oil on panel,
                                22 x 16 in. Mendel Art Gallery collection




Dorothy Knowles was born April 7, 1927 and was raised partly in Saskatoon and partly
on a family farm west of Unity, Saskatchewan. After graduating with a Bachelor of
Arts Degree in biology in 1948 she decided to attend the Emma Lake Summer School
of the arts. It was there that she discovered her passion for painting. She began to
study art fervently through night classes at the University of Saskatchewan and
further Emma Lake Workshops. Each class and workshop developed her skills but it
was the 1962 workshop with Clement Greenberg that she credits with leading her from
her experimentations with different artistic styles to a commitment to on site prairie
landscape painting. In his book, Land Marks: The Art of Dorothy Knowles, Terry Fenton
describes how Greenberg affirmed for Knowles that, “In an era of ‘high abstraction,’ one
might still paint landscapes ambitiously and without embarrassment.”

Soon her maroon van became a common site on the grid roads around Saskatoon as
each day she ventured onto the prairie to paint what she knew and loved. In time
Dorothy Knowles became a critically acclaimed painter featured in major collections all
over Canada and abroad.




                                                                                           page 3
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
SASKATCHEWAN’S WATERCOLOUR LEGACY

                                                     My first class at Emma I was looking at Kenderdine’s
                                                     painting and I felt his influence. Emma Lake was
                                                     magic.
                                                                                          Dorothy Knowles 1

                                                     There was a continuity of generations from the
                                                     1930’s on – one learning from the other.
                                                                                           Terry Fenton 2

The Bow River, 1981, watercolour, 22 x 30 in.
Mendel Art Gallery collection, gift of the artist




Before the 1950’s the Group of Seven dominated landscape painting in English Canada. They
took a stand against European pastoral landscape painting claiming that Canada needed its own
artistic approach. The Group turned to representing rugged landscapes with a bold, vigorous
painting style featuring strong colours. However, none of the Group of Seven ever painted
the Saskatchewan prairie. It was James Henderson, Inglis Sheldon-Williams and Augustus
Kenderdine, three British artists, who first began to seriously paint Saskatchewan, focusing on
the river valleys.

They were followed by another group of British painters who brought with them the British
watercolour painting tradition. Watercolours continued to be used during the ‘Dirty Thirties’ and
the post-war years in Saskatchewan because they were inexpensive when money was scarce.
Canadian artist Reta Cowley worked with this group and adopted the medium as her own. She
became Dorothy Knowles’s first teacher at Emma Lake and thus Knowles was introduced to the
medium.

Watercolour continued to be a primary medium of painting for both Lindner and Cowley
throughout their careers. Knowles inherited the medium and has continued to use it throughout
her own career. The medium was to influence her mature work in both oils and acrylic. 3




                                                                                                              page 5
Autumn Leaves, 1982, watercolour and charcoal on paper, 22 x 30 in. Mendel Art Gallery collection, gift of the artist.
                                                                                                              LESSON ONE
MAKE A RETA COWLEY STYLE WATER COLOUR PAINTING: DAY ONE



OBJECTIVE: Students will experience                    • Ms. Cowley set up rules for herself. She only
watercolour painting on paper. They will paint         used permanent colours which would not fade
directly from nature outside or by observing a still   in the sunlight. She only used good paper which
life of plants indoors. They will learn about the      never turned yellow. Her materials were important
qualities of watercolour paint through teacher         to her. Her brushes were made from sable hair.
demonstrations, viewing paintings and using the        Watercolour brushes now can also be synthetic
paint themselves.                                      plastic.

MATERIALS: Watercolour paints, synthetic               • Explain that a good watercolour brush holds
watercolour brushes flats and rounds sizes 8 to        water and colour in the hairs and lets it out
10, masonite boards, masking tape or clips to          gradually onto the paper at a speed controlled by
attach the paper to the boards, jars of water,         the artist.
palettes usually come with the containers holding
the watercolour cubes, watercolour paper, paper        DEMONSTRATE:
towels, and bag to carry supplies
                                                       PAPER WHITE: Look at one of Reta Cowley’s
*NOTE : Suggested colours are; viridian green,         paintings. Notice that she does not paint to the
cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, lemon yellow,         edges. Notice the white spaces in between the
yellow ochre, red ochre, burnt umber, ultramarine      patches of colour. Did Ms. Cowley use white
violet light, and a non-toxic substitute for cadmium   paint? The white of the paper is the white in the
red. Sets are available at good prices by various      painting .Demonstrate wetting the brush with
companies and are fine as long as you get the          water and then wiping the wet brush across the
colours you need. If you buy the paint cubes           paint cube and placing the liquid created on the
separate you won’t need as many colours but you        palette. Then brush the thinned paint onto the
will need to buy the trays to store them in and for    paper. If you add more water to the thinned paint
mixing. The cheaper the paint, the less pigment in     on the palette it will get lighter. This is the way
it and the more you will use.                          that you produce lighter colours in watercolour
                                                       painting without adding white paint. Let the
METHOD:                                                students try this on their watercolour paper.

• Show examples of Reta Cowley’s watercolour           PAINTING CLOUDS: Remember that you are not
paintings. These may be found on the internet.4        using black or white paint. Demonstrate making
Reta Cowley is an artist who only painted from         clouds by painting thinned blue sky around the
observation. Mostly she painted the prairies and       clouds leaving cloud shapes. Mix grey using red
forests of Saskatchewan. Sometimes she painted         ochre and cerulean blue or ultramarine blue and
from windows of hotels downtown to get views           lots of water. Now paint the shadows on the
of Saskatoon’s riverbank. She painted pictures of      white cloud with the thinned grey that you have
spring, fall, summer and winter. In the winter she     mixed. Have the students try this.
often painted pictures of a person posing for her or
a still life of flowers.                               MIXING COLOURS: Have the students try mixing
                                                       a few simple greens such as viridian with yellow
                                                       ochre, viridian with burnt umber, viridian with lots
                                                       of water, viridian with little water. You can mix
                                                       red ochre and blue for grey.

                                                                                                                 page 7
The Moon on a Smokey Day, 1981, watercolour on paper, 22” x 30”. Mendel Art Gallery collection.
                                                                                                           LESSON TWO
MAKE A RETA COWLEY STYLE WATER COLOUR PAINTING: DAY TWO



OBJECTIVE: Students will paint directly from           6. Put just enough paint on the paper to suggest
nature using the water colour painting techniques      the subject matter.
that they have learned.
                                                       7. Clean up. Rinse your brushes in clean water,
MATERIALS: Jar with water, water colour paint,         Wash your palettes, and leave your paintings on
palette, water colour paper, round and flat water      the board to dry.
colour brushes, masonite board, masking tape,
paper towel, carrying case                             • Compare Reta Cowley’s watercolour painting
                                                       with Dorothy Knowles’s watercolour painting
METHOD:                                                Autumn Leaves, 1982. How are they similar? How
• Explain that Reta Cowley painted what she was        are they different?
observing directly on to the paper in front of her.
She did not do a drawing first. Today’s project is     • Now let’s look at Knowles’s acrylic painting
to paint what we see from our observations of          Silent Winter, 1984. How does it compare to
nature. We will try to match the colours, leaving      Autumn Leaves? Can you see why Fenton would
white spaces in between colour patches and using       say that watercolour painting influenced Knowles’
the white of the paper for our whites.                 work in oils and acrylics? How?


Students proceed outside with their supplies
and sit on towels with their paints beside them.
Realism is not the goal, we want the students
to observe nature and render it in clear fresh
transparent colour.

1. Wet the brush, wipe the brush on the lip of the
jar

2. Wipe the brush across the colour

3. Brush the colour onto the palette so a bit of the
liquid colour is released

4. To duplicate the colours of nature you have to
mix the paints. Think, do you need a green with
more yellow in it? Add ochre or yellow. Do you
need a darker green? Add brown or red ochre.

5. Paint patches of the colours and shapes you
see.




                                                                                                              page 9
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
THE FRENCH CONNECTION

                                                                  When I studied the work of Matisse and Chagall
                                                                  I realized that I could take liberties instead of
                                                                  rendering nature on canvas.
                                                                                                       Dorothy Knowles 5




Setting Sun at Nokomis, 1983, watercolour on paper, 22 x 30 in.
Mendel Art Gallery collection, gift of the artist.




Reta Cowley, one of Dorothy Knowles’s first instructors at Emma Lake soon became a dear
friend and painting companion. At the University of Saskatchewan, Reta Cowley and Dorothy
Knowles both studied under Eli Bornstein in whose classes they were introduced to French art.
Later on after they were married in Paris, Dorothy and her husband William Perehudoff enjoyed
looking at French and all great European art in the museums of France and Italy.




                                                                                                                           page 11
Lonely Prairie, 1986, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 78 in.
                                                                                                             LESSON THREE
INSPIRED BY MATISSE AND CHAGALL                           6




OBJECTIVE: Students will be introduced to the         • Give each student two large sheets of pastel
art of Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. Students       paper that are proportion to the small grid ‘puzzle’
will learn how to use oil pastels.                    squares that the students have.

MATERIALS: Posters, oil pastels, pastel paper,        • Instruct the students to use their oil pastels to
pencils, Popsicle sticks                              replicate the images on their puzzle pieces.
                                                      • These pieces should also have the same
METHOD:                                               indentifying numbers or alphabet on the back.
• Purchase two posters, one of a painting by          • Gather up the pieces keeping the two separate.
Chagall and one of a painting by Matisse. You may
wish to purchase two more identical posters for       • Students who finish early may research the two
reference.                                            artists Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse.

• Draw a grid onto each poster that will equal the    • Assemble the student’s work. You will have
number of students that you have in your class.       large reproductions of the posters.
Each student will get two grid ‘puzzle’ pieces, one
from each poster.                                     • Display the pieces and introduce the two artists.

• Number or alphabetize the grid ‘puzzle’ pieces      • Many of the French painters that Ms. Cowley
on the back before you cut them out to facilitate     and Ms. Knowles admired were interested in
reassembly.                                           exploring colour and composition in a painting.
                                                      They stressed the spirit of the subject matter and
• Give each student two of the puzzle pieces          were not interested in producing a photographic
without telling them which artists they are looking   representation. This is true of both Chagall and
at.                                                   Matisse. Take a look at these two examples
                                                      of their work. How are the two artists similar?
• Demonstrate how to use oil pastels:                 How are they different? Have they accurately
Stipple: Pastels are applied with short strokes to    represented their subject matter? What about their
create a broken pattern with various colours. The     use of colour? Is it accurate or have they taken
colour will mix optically as you view the work        liberties?
from a distance.
                                                      • Now look at Dorothy Knowles’s painting Setting
Impasto: Apply the oil pastels thickly by pressing    Sun at Nokomis. Has Ms. Knowles accurately
hard onto the paper.                                  represented the subject matter? How has she
                                                      suggested a field and a sky? How is this painting
Scraffito: Make two layers of oil pastels. Then       by Dorothy Knowles similar or different from the
scrape off the top layer with a Popsicle stick to     works by Matisse and Chagall? Has Knowles
reveal the lower layer.                               taken liberties with colour? Has she taken liberties
                                                      with her representations of nature?
Turpentine: Older students can use turpentine and
a brush in a well ventilated area to thin out the
pastels.



                                                                                                                page 13
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
                                                                                                           LESSON FOUR
TORN PAPER COLLAGE                   7




OBJECTIVE: Students will experiment with water       SPATTER: Paint may be spattered onto the
colour techniques and create a landscape Collage.    surface of your painting by loading a toothbrush
                                                     with paint and then dragging it across your paint
MATERIALS: Watercolour paper (6” x 12”), tag         brush handle. The spatters will create a mottled
board (12”), watercolour paint, brushes, tooth       look on your painting.
brushes, salt, tissue paper, paper towels, masking
tape, masonite boards                                TISSUE PAPER TEXTURE: First scrunch up tissue
                                                     paper and push it into a wet painting. Then leave
METHOD:                                              it until it is almost dry. Then remove the tissue
• Tape down four strips of watercolour paper to      paper. It will have left an interesting texture in
the masonite board with masking tape                 the paint. Plastic wrap can be used for a different
•Demonstrate four of the following watercolour       effect
techniques on the water colour paper:
                                                     LIFTING COLOUR: You can lift wet water colour
FLAT WASH: To demonstrate, tape the water            from your painting with waded up facial tissues.
colour paper all around the edges to the masonite    This creates light areas within your painting.
board with the masking tape. Set the board at
an angle. Wet the paper with water. Sponge off       LIFTING DRY WATERCOLOUR: You can wet
any excess water. Using the large flat brush and     an already dry area of watercolour painting by
thinned watercolour paint start at the top and       wetting it with a synthetic acrylic painting brush.
place an even band across the sheet of paper.        If you use a scrubbing motion you can then blot
Moving from left to right quickly repeat the bands   with a facial tissue.
until you have a flat wash. A graded wash can be
accomplished in the same way by making the paint
thinner with each band. Let the students try.

DRY BRUSH: Mix up your watercolour paint, and        • Have the students tape down four strips of
then with a brush that has been dried on a paper     watercolour paper and try the techniques you have
towel apply the paint as dry and broken looking as   demonstrated. Let them dry.
possible.
                                                     • Demonstrate tearing long strips from the painted
STAMPING: Sponges, tissues, brushes, sticks,         sheets of watercolour paper.
etc. can be used to dab colour onto the painting.
                                                     • Working from the top of the tag board glue down
SCRAFITTO: You can draw into the wet painting        the torn painted strips to create a landscape.
with the handle of your watercolour brush to
create lines where the paint will pool. A credit     • Strips of torn coloured construction paper may
card may also be used to move wet paint about on     be added for contrast.
the surface of the paper.
                                                     • Sharpie markers may be used to add details.

SALT TEXTURE: Sprinkling salt onto the wet           • Display the torn paper collages
surface of a watercolour painting will result in
the pooling of areas of colour creating a textured
effect.
                                                                                                              page 15
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
EMMA LAKE AS AN INFLUENCE
ON DOROTHY KNOWLES
“As Dorothy Knowles so precisely put it, her own history is intermingled with many others.”
                                                                                       Fenton 8



It was Kenderdine who established the Emma Lake Summer School of Art that led to the
professional artists’ workshops. For three decades critics and artists of international standing
were invited to Emma. Dorothy Knowles and her husband, William Perehudoff, were frequent
participants at the workshops and bought a cottage at Emma Lake. These workshops were to
have a profound effect on Knowles. From an Artist Talk held at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art
Gallery on June 21, 2008 Dorothy Knowles recounted some of the Emma Lake encounters that
have influenced her work:




                                                                                                   page 17
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
HERMAN CHERRY –‘KNOW YOUR MATERIAL’

Herman Cherry workshop, 1961:

 “Cherry suggested to those present that they work quickly on inexpensive materials to avoid
being intimidated by the cost and to prevent over working...so I bought a big roll of freezer wrap,
and began to paint and paint and paint. I believe that this work prepared me for the following
summer’s workshop with Clem (critic Clement Greenberg). This was a way to get through when
you are stuck. It also taught you about your materials and not being precious about your work.”
Dorothy Knowles 9

 “I don’t think that Dorothy Knowles is primarily an interpreter of the prairies. She gives the
viewer a canvas of the topology of her personality rather than an insight into her environment.
She has been called a diffident person, but in her paintings she is far from this. They are
passionate, joyous, spontaneous paintings that use the landscape as an occasion rather than an
objective subject.” Terence Heath 10




                                                                                                      page 19
Hills North Of Macklin, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 48”. Collection of the artist.
                                                                                                            LESSON FIVE
IF THE SHOE FITS             11




Dorothy Knowles grew up on a farm and in the           • Have the students do one final ten to fifteen
city. She has a deep love for the prairie landscape.   minute drawing. For this one they may look at
But she does not reproduce it exactly preferring to    their shoe again and choose any combination of
use it as a jumping off point for her own personal     drawing materials they wish.
expression. This exercise combines Cherry’s advice
to use cheap plentiful material so that you get to     • Display the drawings in chronological order.
know your mediums with Knowles’ way of using           Discuss the experience with the students. Did they
a subject as a jumping off point for your own          remember their shoes very well? Did they turn to
personal expression.                                   their imaginations? When you look at the work
                                                       in chronological order can you see any movement
OBJECTIVE: This exercise will familiarize              towards abstraction, more detail, more colour or
students with a variety of materials while             texture?
developing their own artistic voice.
                                                       • Have they selected a particular set of colours
MATERIALS: Inexpensive paper, a variety of             or a definitive stroke? Do the students agree
drawing materials, pencils, charcoal, oil pastels,     with Mr. Cherry is it important to get to know
and pencil crayons                                     your materials? Has using a familiar subject as a
                                                       jumping off point helped them develop new ideas?
METHOD:
• Have the students place one of their shoes on a
table where they can view it.

• Set up each student next to their shoe with a
stack of paper and the drawing materials.

• Have them touch and look carefully at their
shoes for a set amount of time.

• Now have the students put the shoes out of
sight and draw them quickly from memory. Give
them 60 seconds to do this.

• Have the students change drawing materials and
paper and again draw their shoe from memory.

• Keep repeating this pattern until the students
have completed five or more drawings.




                                                                                                               page 21
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
CLEMENT GREENBERG – ‘BECOME YOURSELF’

“I grew up in the landscape, and I love it...the land that you grow up on is always in your psyche.”
                                                                                                   Dorothy Knowles 12



Dorothy Knowles has a deep affection for the land. But she was painting in a time when abstract
painting was popular. Dorothy had no vehicle or camera during this time so she painted from
memory, imagination or sketches done at Emma Lake or on camping trips. While at the Emma
Lake Workshops or classes she painted from nature. When she first met Clement Greenberg
many of her paintings were abstract. It was Greenberg who encouraged her to continue to paint
landscapes and ‘become herself.’




                                                                                                                        page 23
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
                                                                                                             LESSON SIX
LANDSCAPE RESISTS                 13




 OBJECTIVE: Students will experiment with             VOCABULARY:
the landscapes genre using a resist technique.
Students will become familiar with the artistic       Background is the area of the painting that is
terms foreground, middle ground, horizon line and     at the back or behind the other objects in the
background.                                           composition.

MATERIALS: Oil pastels, 12” x 18” watercolour         Horizon line is the line where the sky meets the
paper, watercolour paint, brushes, containers,        ground
water
                                                      Middle ground is the area of the painting that is in
METHOD:                                               front of the background.
• Explain to the students what is meant by the
foreground, middle ground, background and horizon     Foreground is the area that is the closest to the
line in these paintings. (see vocabulary below).      viewer

• Gather together examples of Dorothy Knowles’
landscape paintings and display them for the
students.                                             • Often landscape painting ranks lower than other
                                                      categories of visual art such as portraiture and
• Ask the students to examine the paintings.          narrative painting. Why do you think that this is
Have them identify the foreground, middle ground,     the case?
horizon line and background in the paintings. How
has the artist made some things in the picture        • Nevertheless, Dorothy Knowles has been
seem near and some things seem far away?              painting landscapes at such a high level that she
Things in the foreground are usually larger and       has set an example that has enabled other artists
overlap objects that are in the background. Objects   to pursue this category of painting in a serious
that are near appear larger and more detailed.        way.
Objects that are far away from us appear smaller
and less detailed.

• Have the students draw a landscape including
a foreground, middle ground, horizon line and
background with the oil pastels. Then paint over
the pastel lines with thin paint. Students could
use a different colour of paint for each layer
(foreground, middle ground and background). The
pastels must be used first and the paint next. The
oil will resist the paint.

• Exhibit the landscapes. Can the students identify
the foreground, middle ground, horizon line and
back ground in these paintings?




                                                                                                               page 25
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
KENNETH NOLAND – THINNED OIL

In 1963, Kenneth Noland, an abstract painter from the United States led the Emma Lake
workshop. He encouraged Knowles to move away from thick paint on her work even though
this was contrary to the abstract expressionist practice of the time. As a result Knowles began
to dilute her paint and was soon using oil like watercolours over her charcoal drawings. This
became her signature style. Working directly from nature in the summer and working from
photographs, sketches, memory and imagination in the winter Knowles perfected her art.




                                                                                                  page 27
The River, 1967, oil and charcoal on canvas, 56 x 56 in. Mendel Art Gallery collection.
                                                                                                               LESSON SEVEN
PAINTING LIGHT AND COLOUR LANDSCAPES



OBJECTIVE: Students will become familiar with            As Peter London suggests; “Since seeing is not
Dorothy Knowles signature style and learn how to         a simple matter of optics but a complex series
create the illusion of light in their paintings.         of events gathering to it our collective personal
                                                         histories, our momentary state of mind and body,
MATERIALS: Acrylic paint, brushes, canvas                it is fair to say what we ‘see’ is a compound image
board, containers, water, palettes, paper towels,        consisting of what is ‘out there’ and who is ‘in
and charcoal                                             here’. What we see is who we are, over layered
                                                         with whatever is there to be seen. Therefore no
METHOD:                                                  two people ever ‘see’ the same thing.’ 14
• Display images of Dorothy Knowles’s larger
canvases where she is using her signature style
of charcoal drawings combined with very thin
washes of paint. Why do you think that Terence
Heath thought that Dorothy Knowles’s paintings
were joyous? Dorothy Knowles has said that she
paints from the light. Look at Dorothy Knowles’s
work and discuss her use of light. Much of the
light in her art work comes from leaving the
canvas or paper bare.

• Do you think that her use of light affects the
mood of the painting? What about her use of
colour?

• Dorothy painted in day light, without chiaroscuro
or extreme value contrasts. She never used
artificial lighting when painting still life. Have the
student do a simple drawing of the still life with
the charcoal.

• Very thin paint may now be added into and
around their charcoal drawings. Remember to
leave the light areas of the canvas open with no
paint or charcoal.

• Display the paintings that the students have
made and discuss their use of light, colour and
shadow. Compare the paintings. How are they
similar? How are they different?
We are all unique individuals who bring our own
personalities, experiences, imaginations and
beliefs to our art. Dorothy Knowles’s paintings are
uniquely her own just as each students painting is
distinctly theirs.

                                                                                                                  page 29
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
                                                                                                                 LESSON EIGHT
WHAT IF? - PAINTING LANDSCAPES INDOORS                                     15




Ideas come from Painting ...sometimes its                  • Imagination, paint from a fantasy or dream, idea
drudgery, and then...”                                     or wish.
                                       Knowles 16
                                                           • Memory of trips, familiar places of the past and
“She continually sets challenges for herself that          present.
keep her from falling into predictable routines;
they are often challenges of the ‘what if’ variety.        • Which technique shall I use? ‘What if’ I:
“What if I put a still life in front of a landscape?
What if I paint a blue painting?”                          • Paint thin and transparent, letting the drawing
                                               Fenton 17   show through.

OBJECTIVE: Students often wonder where                     • Begin with a traditional style starting with a
artists get their ideas from. This exercise                preliminary drawing using a brush, charcoal, or
demonstrates the way that Dorothy Knowles                  a pencil. Then built up layers of colour over the
develops new ideas and keeps her work interesting          preliminary value drawing or paint colours and then
and fresh. Students will experiment with indoor            build up and add extreme shadows and high lights.
landscape painting and challenge themselves with
‘what if’ questions as artist Dorothy Knowles              • Paint a coloured ground and then paint an
does.                                                      impressionistic style of short gestural brush
                                                           strokes over top, letting the coloured ground show
MATERIALS: mixed media                                     through.

METHOD:                                                    • Paint thick with impasto.
• Why? There are many reasons to paint
landscape indoors. One main reason is obviously            • Paint with colours found in nature or use
the long winter. However, working indoors has              imaginative fauve or expressionist colours. Use
advantages. Changing light, weather and insects            colour symbolically.
don’t have to be contended with. There is no need
to drive a long way, feel unsafe or worry that the         • Paint realism; attempt to achieve accurate
scene may change before the painting is finished.          proportion, perspective and colour.
Working indoors provides the opportunity to take
time, go back to the work and to contemplate               • Paint breaking up space and elements like the
changes. Layers of paint may be built up, larger           cubists, or distort perspective like Cezanne, paint
canvases tackled or three pictures can be worked           flat colour areas like Matisse, or use a classical
on at once. It is an opportunity to challenge our          style like Corot.
skill level and slow down the process.
                                                           • Use acrylic mediums to build up a sculptural
• How should I begin? ‘What if’ I used:                    surface using heavy gels.

• Sketches done outside to embellish upon,                 • Make a matt or glossy surface
abstract from, enlarge or reproduce.
                                                           • Work from a grid for realism, or let the natural
• Photography: slides, colour Xeroxes, large prints,       distortion take its course
collages of photographs or digital images.

                                                                                                                    page 31
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
CONCLUSION AND END OF UNIT QUESTIONS
FOR DISCUSSION OR WRITTEN RESPONSE:



Why did Dorothy Knowles choose to paint landscapes?

What technique did Knowles develop that became her signature style?

What impact has her work had on Landscape painting in Canada?




“THE POINT IS SIMPLE. TODAY, AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN, SOME PAINTINGS BY SOME PAINTERS
CONTINUE TO AWARD OUR ATTENTION. AMONG THESE, DURING THE PAST FORTY YEARS HAVE
BEEN MANY PAINTINGS BY DOROTHY KNOWLES. THEY COUNT AMONG THE LASTING ACHIEVE-
MENTS OF OUR TIME.”
                                                                                Fenton 18

                                                                                  page 33
Dorothy Knowles Teacher’s Guide
ENDNOTES

1.    Dorothy Knowles, Artist’s Talk, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, June 21, 2008

2.    Terry Fenton, Artist Talk, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, June 21, 2008

3.    Terry Fenton, Landmarks: The Art of Dorothy Knowles, Hagio Press, Box 33024, Regina, Sk.
      2008

4.    Terry Fenton, www.sharecom.ca/wc/cowley.html, 07, 2008

5.    Judy Decker, www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/Lessons/6water.htm, 07, 2008

6.    Dorothy Knowles, Exhibition opening remarks, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, June 20, 2008

7.    Norm Yakel, University of Regina, Arts Education Dept. Visual Art Strand, 1996

8.    Fenton, 9

9.    Dorothy Knowles, Artist Talk Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, June 21, 2008

10.   Heath, Terrence. Dorothy Knowles, ArtsCanada, Autumn 1972

11.   Adapted from Peter London, No More Second-hand Art: Awakening the Artist Within, Shambhala,
      Boston, 1989,

12.   The Artist’s Life: Dorothy Knowles, Michael Glassbourg, Tickle Scratch Productions, 2003

13.   Lauren Geggus, www.kinderart.com, 07, 2008

14.   Peter London,53

15.   Catherine Perehudoff Fowler, art lesson, Feb. 1997

16.   The Artist’s Life: Dorothy Knowles, Michael Glassbourg, 2003-2004

17.   Fenton, 41

18.   Fenton, 120
                                                                                             page 35
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This teacher’s guide was written by Wendy Parsons. She earned her Masters Degree in Museum
Studies by correspondence from the University of Leicester, England, in 2002. Wendy was employed
as the educational coordinator at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery from 1996-2003. She has also
instructed at various workshops around the province, including Regina, Weyburn, Endeavour, and Moose
Jaw.




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